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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wizard101: Winter Wonder Pack Review


For the latest day of the Spiral, Wizard101 has unveiled a new winter-themed holiday pack. The Winter Wonder Pack is full of unique surprises - everything from the usual mount to some adorable new pets, epic gear, and really captivating furniture. On top of that, there are some new stats to take a look at on these pieces. Here's a quick overview of what's inside and my thoughts on the pack.


Winter Wonder Pack: What's Inside

This pack has one of the greatest variety of items I've seen. While many are nestled among old furniture and gear sets, what's new is definitely worth investigating.

Snowhopper Sleigh Mount & Pets

Wizard101 has reached a new level of adorable with this pack. The twin bunnies are a recurring theme, both pulling the one-person sleigh mount and acting as a pet on their own. These two items drop from the pack on rare occasion (the pet is marked Ultra Rare and the mount Epic). 


The mount provides the usual 40% speed bonus with some extra-cute animations. When moving backward, you propel the sled and instead pull the bunnies along. Both the pet and the sled bunnies have idle animations that include sleeping on one another.

While there isn't necessarily anything profound about the stats, the cosmetic draw is there. Especially if you're into bunnies. 

Mount and Pet Grade: B

Snowdrifter Gear

It's not too often that I'm crazy about the look of themed pack gear, but the Winter Wonder Pack items aren't half bad. In fact, I know several users looking exclusively for the gear appearance. The wands are probably the biggest hit - they are pretty epic looking, especially for Ice wizards.

Stats are always up in the air for packs. On one hand, packs have brought on entire PvP play styles and great PvE stats, then other times aren't as impressive. This pack has a mixture of both. The stats on most of the gear is decent, but not quite there. The closest items are probably the robes with resist for tanking, but they're outmatched by the Immortal's Lore Pack

The stats that are above par are the energy gear set. There's a hat, robe, boots, and wand with some of the best energy options out there, offering 24 on the hat and boots, 28 on the robe, and 12 on the wand. This isn't just a viable alternative to the Greenwarden Gear and Aphrodite Staff, it's an upgrade. That's pretty significant, as there are a variety of interests players can take that require energy, from pet training to gardening to fishing.


Besides good looks and good energy, there are also a few decent wands. If you're really wanting some pip conversion which could help you save big on one-pip buffs and odd-pip spells, these wands are probably what you'll be after. The only other item you might need is a set of boots with a new spell called Chromatic Blast. This gives a 5% per pip damage blade to the caster. It's only half as powerful as Storm's version, but it's universal. In cheat battles that disallow Feint or traps, or in battles where it's important to keep the number of power-ups cast to a minimum (like Eerkala, for example), this could be a card you want. 

Gear Grade: A

Hats, Hats, & More Hats

By far the craziest-looking piece of gear in the standard sets is the crystal-covered hat. Rivaling that, there are three other new head coverings / hats / festive accessories for the taking. 

The Ice Wig is interesting because it could pass a hairstyle, especially when they come in different colors, not just ice. The Winter Antlers are probably the most playful, and include a red nose.


The highlight of these items is the Snow Crown, which is not only good looking by itself, but also comes with a unique hairstyle underneath. It's definitely something most of us would love to see sold separately in the Crown Shop.

Hats Grade: B

Ice Skating Rink & Sparkle Globe

These were a little bit of a surprise to me having not paid very close attention to the pack announcement page. Usually the emphasis is on one thing or another, but these items might well be as valuable as the mount, if not more so for some users. 

The Ice Skating rink is a small item with a tree and patch of ice that speeds up the movement of players when walking on it, and includes skating sounds when crossing. It's a little bit small for practical purposes, but a great addition to holiday or winter-themed homes like this one that Paige Moonshade has been working on.


Sparkle Globes are new snowglobe items that caused a flurry of sparkles around the area. These are exciting for two reasons. First, who doesn't love a little extra sparkle? There are a number of potential uses for this in homes. I can only imagine the possibilities. On the other hand, it's also an indication that requests for other types of atmospheric globes are being taken into account. First snow, now sparkles. Hopefully rain and others follow.

Skating Rink & Globe Grade: A-

Other Items

I'll be looking at new items specifically here. Besides all of those mentioned above, you could also get temporary versions of the mount. Then there are a variety of new housing items that mainly consist of wallpaper with unique patterns. There are some potted plants and strings of garland, but they are oftentimes too long for smaller wall panels.

The one item that hasn't been mentioned anywhere that is worth noting is that you can learn the Krampus spell from this pack.


These items are great, but they concern me with the pack structure that's being used. I'll discuss that a little bit more shortly, but these may well be what kills the pack for me.

Other Items Grade: D+


Pack Analysis

Here's where things get interesting. For all of the great item in the new pack, how they fit in is everything. Do people feel like they're getting what they pay for? 

Recurring Pack Structure

The pack structure used here is one they've used on several holiday packs. If you get the mount, it'll be in the first spot. Otherwise, you'll get one roll from the new items and the rest will be other filler items, either from around the Spiral, past packs, or holiday vendors. That in mind, you should realize that you're paying 299 crowns for one random new item and additional old items.

On one hand, that's good. You're guaranteed to get one of the new items in every pack, granted it could be that wallpaper that you have ten of already. However, you know there'll be something. On the other, your eyes are glued to that second slot (and the first for a mount), and not much else. There aren't a whole lot of useful pet snacks or other items, it's mainly old furniture.


This is where all of the wallpaper and other items make me a little bit apprehensive. I like the idea of getting one item per pack, and it has worked well in the past. However, I've oftentimes had problems with recurring boots or useful items and in this one it's recurring wallpaper, which I'm not so much a fan of.

Filler Items

Final question - if 6 of the 7 items you're getting in any pack other than one in which you receive the mount are filler items, are they any good? My pack picture that I've included is a pretty good indication. Most of them you'll never use. Maybe they work for some decorators, but a lot of it will be sold at the Bazaar, trashed, or if you're like me, stored in one house after another, ensuring you can never find anything you need.


The Verdict

I'll always be honest about new content, and packs are no exception. With the potential in this one for new looks, new stats, and other new items, it's too good to pass up, especially with it being a seasonal pack. However, don't throw away all of your crowns here, as you might end up with a heaping pile of wallpaper.

Overall Pack Grade: B+


Compare to:
Gloomthorn Nightmare Pack (A)Immortal's Lore Pack (C+) | Witch's Hoard Pack (B-) | Road Warrior's Hoard Pack (A) | Terror's Hoard Pack (A-) | Harrowing Hoard Pack (B-)


Did you get anything good from the Winter Wonder Pack?

Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral! Credits: Thanks to Paige Moonshade for showing me her Ice Skating Rink and to Nicholas Iceflame for showing me his gear, stats, and several other items.

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